April 21, 2009

Four Brothers, Webapp Style

Viewbook allows people to easily create and share image galleries and portfolios. But the most important feature, to me, is that it’s a family labor of love. Four brothers—Rien, Alrik, Paul and Rudin Swagerman—engage many aspects of their product’s life: web development, marketing, interface and interactive design, business strategy. When I was in design school, I was encouraged by the belief that a first wave of work experience should be pursued with family members. And this remains good advice.

To kick it up a notch, family members can also be work partners, as Viewbook demonstrates. It’s worth noting that their Viewbook collaboration was born from identifying missing elements in their work. Not easy to do, but such insight can lead to innovative creations. Family members can be the toughest clients. I assume that the four brothers of Viewbook demand a lot from each other in striving for quality in everything that they do. But it’s all in the family.